Martha L. A.  Stassen is Assistant Provost for Assessment and Educational Effectiveness at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has been at UMass Amherst since 1994 where she supports individual faculty members and departments in their efforts to implement course-based, department-based, and General Education assessment. She also directs a wide range of assessment initiatives at the University, including research into instructional and curricular effectiveness (including General Education, diversity-related initiatives, and the campus’ new Integrative Learning outcomes) and the individual and institutional factors associated with student retention and success. She has published articles on faculty responses to racial and ethnic diversity, engaging faculty in learning assessment, the student outcomes associated with living-learning community participation and, most recently, a study of various definitions of “Critical Thinking” and standardized testing. She is also the lead author of two assessment handbooks used by a variety of higher education institutions across the United States.

Stassen helps promote educational innovations on her campus. She is Co-PI of a $275,000 Davis Educational Foundation grant to support implementation of the University’s new upper-division Integrative Experience requirement . She also helps direct the assessment and evaluation components of the University’s new iCONs (Integrated Concentration in the Sciences) program , supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Stassen designs and directs evaluations for a number of other externally funded instructional improvement initiatives, including a multi-institutional team on a Ford and W.T. Grant-funded study of the impact of an Intergroup Dialogue curriculum on student learning and development.

Martha is a featured speaker at national and regional conferences and has facilitated workshops and provided evaluation and assessment consultation at a range of higher education institutions. She serves as President of the New England Educational Assessment Network (NEEAN), a professional association that provides assessment support to individual faculty members and institutions of higher learning throughout the northeast, and teaches and advises graduate students in UMass Amherst’s Higher Education Program.

Dr. Stassen holds a B.A. in English (Music Minor) from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She can be contacted at or 413-545-5146.


Martha's curriculum vitae